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American soldier in Normandy; drawings from 1944

Victor Alfred Lundy was 21 years old when he was shipped out to Europe, in August 1944.  D-Day and the army had changed his plans from architecture, to the infantry.

Enlisting

Victor enlisted in the army in December of 1941, the day after the bomb was dropped on Pearl Harbour. He was accepted into the Army Specialized Training Program (ASTP), established to prepare officers who would be responsible for the reconstruction of war torn Europe. Victor was sent to the University of Maine and trained for eight months. The ASTP was then abandoned and all soldiers in the program became infantry.

The sketchbooks

Victor kept sketch books during his training in Fort Jackson, North Carolina and later when he arrived in Europe.  His drawings during training in the USA are often of men resting, playing cards and waiting for their war to start.  Once in England, then France, it’s a different story.  He recalled years later:

“August 25th 1944, there’s a sketch which says ‘overseas at last,’ and since then, I realized we were part of a very significant occasion…this is real.”

‘Overseas at last’ drawing by Victor Lundy

 

Victor arrived in France on 7 September 1944.  Here are a selection of Victor’s Normandy  sketches, drawn at the end of days and in short breaks, revealing an American soldier’s first impression of France, in WW2.

 

Arriving at Cherbourg

 

‘Home is far away now!’

 

Soldiers on landing craft

 

‘Sea-plane hangar wrecked by Germans at Cherbourg’ 7 September 1944

 

‘Ready to move by truck to our first camp in France’

 

‘2 1/2 kilometers from Montebourg 10 minute break’

 

‘French farmer, St. Martin d’Audeville’

 

‘House where Kane & I got the roast chicken & cognac’

 

‘Café where the 2 French girls bought us 4 bottles of cider, Quinéville’

 

‘Camouflaged German gun position, beach in Quinéville’

 

‘Beach & barbed wire entanglement at Quinéville’

 

‘Part of the Atlantic Wall, Quinéville 6 men from L Co. hurt here, 6 killed’

 

View the Victor Lundy archive in the Library of Congress

Victor Lundy

Victor Alfred Lundy, born February 1, 1923 in New York

Victor survived the war and became a highly respected architect. He is still alive today, age 94.

Read about his life here.

 

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